Local businessman John Conroy said Wednesday he is dropping out of the race to be East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president.
Conroy was the third most well-financed candidate so far in the small pool of declared candidates for the December mayoral election behind front runners Mayor-President Kip Holden and Councilman Mike Walker.
He said he made the decision because he wasn’t getting enough campaign donations to stay competitive.
“The reality is the mayor’s race is a serious race,” he said. “It will cost $800,000 to $1 million to compete on a competitive basis, and I’m not seeing the financial backing.”
As of May, which was the last campaign finance reporting period, Conroy had raised $1,500 and loaned himself $9,355 from his businesses.
Conroy, founder of Pestop Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, which has five Louisiana locations, announced in March that he was seeking the top parish office.
The political newcomer said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll publicly support another candidate. He said he initially ran because he felt the public didn’t have a choice “other than career politicians,” referring to Holden and Walker.
Conroy said he hopes the next parish leader will properly fund the District Attorney’s Office to keep pace with the growing crime problem and focus on small business growth.
This was Conroy’s first foray into the political arena, but it won’t be his last, he said.
“I’m going to stay involved politically,” he said. “I’m not sure how exactly, but I had never been involved in politics before, and now that I have, I know that I like it.”
Qualifying for elections begins Aug 15. So far, Gordon Mese, owner of Garden District Nursery, is the only other active candidate besides Holden and Walker. Mese is running on a platform to reform the city-parish Unified Development Code.
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